Kara Abbey


Kara is a full-time wedding photographer, a mom, ice-cream eater, coffee-drinker and writer. she lives in Irwin PA, where she was born and raised. Most of her days are spent playing princess dress up, watching Daniel Tiger, and playing hide and seek with her 3-year old, getting caught up on the latest amusement park rude by her roller-coaster-obsessed husband, and dreaming of the day she can get back to Walt Disney World where she worked in 2009. Kara has been serving happy and excited brides & grooms with her engagement and wedding photography business since 2013 – finally stepping into living her dream in 2015 when she went full time. She loves wedding photography because it gives her the chance to really get to know a couple – from meeting them initially over coffee, to their engagement session, to spending the most memorable day of their lives with them. She loves learning their story , becoming friends, and documenting their “Day One”.

Kara comes from a long line of entrepreneurs. Her Great-Grandfather was a photographer & had a dark room in his basement (coincidental, they moved into that house when she was 12 and her bedroom ended up being where his dark room used to be). Her Grandfather began a hearing & air conditioning business, that her Dad & Uncle have since taken over & continue to run. So, starring Kara’s own business has always been at the top of her dream list. Her Grandparents bought her a nice digital Olympus camera for her 17th birthday that had the ability to go semi-manual. She became obsessed with figuring out what shutter speed, aperture, and ISO meant. About a year later, her best friend got engaged and asked if she would mind taking some engagement pictures with her “fancy)”‘ camera. Kara was instantly hooked. She upgraded to a Canon 400 & dove head first into photography taking classes at Westmoreland County Community College, shadowing photographers. and even interning at Walt Disney World. She learned quickly that even though there are many different types of photography, capturing couples in love really set her soul on fire and she has been tirelessly pressing into engagement and wedding photography every since.

This image is from Nick & Casey’s wedding this past fall. Kara has known Casey & her family since she was in Jr. High & has photographed multiple sets of family photos for them, as well as Casey’s senior photos. She’s such a special girl-gorgeous inside and out. She is so sweet, caring, and down to earth (and she’s now a nurse: the perfect occupation for her). Nick is obviously her soulmate & they are head-over heels in love. They planned their fall wedding to be held in Nick’s parent’s backyard and had the perfect, warm, sunshiny day. One of the things Casey really wanted for her wedding was sparklers or fireworks to end the night. In fact, their sparkler exit was on their timeline up until about 6 weeks before their wedding. That’s when someone pulled Casey aside & whispered in her ear that sparklers might not” be the best idea. You see, Casey’s Grandfather (with whom she is preciously close) is a Veteran & is very sensitive to loud noises & bright flashes. l-le’d never dream of squashing his granddaughter’s dream of ending her wedding with sparklers, so he was simply planning to leave a little early.

That was all Casey needed to hear: instantly and without a second thought. the sparklers were cut from the day. Knowing how much Casey originally wanted something sparkly to end the night, Kara couldn’t resist surprising her and adding a little magic to one of the last photos they took that night. Kara loved how it turned out and how this digital age of photography allows such fun little touches. Knowing the story and how much Casey really wanted sparklers – being able to add that magic in photoshop was definitely a highlight of her 2017 wedding season!

“I am so in awe of what Jason, Adam, and Jason have done with the Captured::Pittsburgh’s
Open Air Gallery & Community. The vision and ideas they have are overwhelming – talk about
having a big dream & running with it to make it a reality! This is the second time one of my images has been chosen to be featured in the Open Air Gallery & I’m so humbled. There are so many incredible photographers in the Pittsburgh area – I am honored to be featured alongside so many of them & to have a place in the Captured::Pittsburgh community. It is seriously an incredible group of people & I consider it an immense privilege to be named among them.”

Kara would like to thank her husband for EVERYTHING. Kara would like to thank her grandparents and parents for planting the entrepreneur seed in her heart. They gave her the tools, ideas, and belief it was all possible. Her husband was the one to put the wheels on her dreams and give her a shove out of their situation. It was his idea to pull money out of their savings and fund Kara’s dream. He has put up with with her late nights, workaholic tendencies and worries over taxes. He has always consistently and whole-heartedly supported her dream.